Identification and characterization of a Y-like primate retinal ganglion cell type.


Journal Article

The primate retina communicates visual information to the brain via a set of parallel pathways that originate from at least 22 anatomically distinct types of retinal ganglion cells. Knowledge of the physiological properties of these ganglion cell types is of critical importance for understanding the functioning of the primate visual system. Nonetheless, the physiological properties of only a handful of retinal ganglion cell types have been studied in detail. Here we show, using a newly developed multielectrode array system for the large-scale recording of neural activity, the existence of a physiologically distinct population of ganglion cells in the primate retina with distinctive visual response properties. These cells, which we will refer to as upsilon cells, are characterized by large receptive fields, rapid and transient responses to light, and significant nonlinearities in their spatial summation. Based on the measured properties of these cells, we speculate that they correspond to the smooth/large radiate cells recently identified morphologically in the primate retina and may therefore provide visual input to both the lateral geniculate nucleus and the superior colliculus. We further speculate that the upsilon cells may be the primate retina's counterparts of the Y-cells observed in the cat and other mammalian species.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Petrusca, D; Grivich, MI; Sher, A; Field, GD; Gauthier, JL; Greschner, M; Shlens, J; Chichilnisky, EJ; Litke, AM

Published Date

  • October 10, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 41

Start / End Page

  • 11019 - 11027

PubMed ID

  • 17928443

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17928443

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1529-2401

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2836-07.2007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States